Summary: This sermon draws from Moses’ Red Sea experience to find ways to deal with discouragment in our lives, marriages, and relationships.
Dealing with Discouragement
Let me set the scene for you a little bit. Moses has lead Israel out of Egypt ¡V The plagues are behind them and they have basked in God¡¦s deliverance from Slavery. They have made their tedious way across the desert and have come to the shores of the Red Sea. Can you imagine how refreshing that first sight of the sea would have been? After the long dry crossing now they feel the fresh breezes blowing and the water lapping against the shore line. They must have rejoiced in that first beautiful sight until on the horizon they saw a cloud of dust. Now in front of them lay the Red Sea- wide and uncrossable- Behind them they can see the dust clouds rising from the Egyptian Chariot wheels.
They were scared, they were tired, and they were vulnerable and they were discouraged. Do you notice how easily triumph turns to discouragement? In a matter of moments this people went from celebrating their freedom to wishing they had stayed in slavery.
How many of you have ever been discouraged. Discouraged about your family, your marriage, your society? I have to say that it¡¦s really easy to get discouraged in this world we live in. Every time you try you risk failing, every time you reach out you risk rejection, every time you love you risk heartbreak. Every time you move you risk meeting up with an obstacle to high to climb. With every failure, every rejection, every heartbreak, every challenge the enemy attacks again with discouragement ¡V and discouragement disables. All around us people are giving up ¡V giving up on marriage, giving up on children, giving up on life. Friends there is a better way to deal with discouragement.
Let¡¦s look at how Moses dealt with it and find some hints.
1) Refuse to listen to Nay ¡V Sayers ¡V It¡¦s a funny thing about when your down. People come out of the woodwork to commiserate. When you rejoice you rejoice with the few or by yourself ¡V but no one grumbles alone. Something about being down attracts others like a picnic attracts ants. You never have to be discouraged by yourself ¡V there are always people waiting in the wings to commiserate with you. This is not a new phenomenon ¡V when David ran from King Saul in fear for his life this is what the scripture says happened. So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father¡¦s household heard of it, they went down there to him. 2Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. I find that there are 4 types of these people and all of us have played the role at some time in our lives. See if you recognize any that are familiar.
„« Pity Party Folks ¡V these are the folks that join with us when we are down and help us wallow in the mud of self-pity. Have you ever known someone who was never happy ¡V there was always something to complain about. These folks love to find people who are discouraged because they feed on the depression of the world around them. They know that the world is never fair it will never give them or you a fair break ¡V so let¡¦s just get used to being here.
„« Angry Folks ¡V these folks feed your discouragement into anger. Someone is to blame ¡V stop feeling sorry for yourself and get mad ¡V get angry at the one who is oppressing you. Rise up in your anger and fight back.
„« Run Away Folks ¡V This is just too hard why don¡¦t you just give up and try something else. This relationship is too difficult I have a friend you would really like. Just quit there is always something else to do or someone else to see.
„« I Told You So Folks ¡V These folks love to tell you that they warned you that this was going to happen. I told you if you took the risk that this is what would happen. There is always a sly I know better than you know grin on their faces as they comfort you in your distress.
Refuse to listen to people who tear you down. People who feed your discouragement. In the world there are two types of people. Dream makers and dream breakers. One group always challenges you to be the best you can be and to rise to new occassions -¡Vthe other is always looking for the easy way out or something to dull the pain. Find encouragers, dream makers in your life and they will help you when you get down.